Displaying items by tag: salads

The poached pears have all the wonderful aromas and tastes of the holiday season.

Pear Poaching Liquid:

6 juniper berries or 1 tablespoon gin

3 cloves

4 black peppercorns

1 cinnamon stick

1 bay leaf

1 red chili

½ cup roughly chopped fresh ginger

1 cup granulated sugar

1½ cups apple cider vinegar

1½ cups water

4 ripe pears (preferably Bartlett), peeled and cored

Pear Vinaigrette:

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons strained poaching liquid from pears

¼ cup olive oil Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


1 large bunch arugula

4 ounces shaved old Cheddar cheese

Combine all ingredients for pear poaching liquid except pears in a wide pot. Place pot over medium-heat high and bring liquid to boil. Boil 2 minutes, reduce heat to low and add pears.

Make sure that the liquid completely covers the pears, adding more water if needed. Poach for 10 minutes or until pears are fork tender. Remove from heat.

Cool pears in liquid. When ready to use, slice pears. Reserve.

Whisk Dijon mustard, vinegar and pear poaching liquid together. Whisk in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Toss arugula, cheese and pears with vinaigrette. Serves 6.

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Caesar salad is a big favourite with everyone. To cut the calories in this one, the dressing is made with low-fat cottage cheese and low-fat mayonnaise instead of egg yolks and oil. It is amazing how similar it tastes to the real thing, with about one quarter of the calories. For a small family dinner, serve this as the main course and double the amount of shrimps.


¼ cup 1 per cent low-fat cottage cheese

¼ cup low-fat mayonnaise

2 anchovies, chopped

2 tablespoons lemon juice

½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons grated Parmesan

Salt and freshly ground pepper


12 large shrimp, peeled

1 head romaine lettuce, washed

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Combine cottage cheese, mayonnaise, anchovies, lemon juice, Worcestershire, garlic and olive oil in a food processor and purée until smooth. Stir in Parmesan and season with salt and pepper to taste. If dressing is too thick, thin down with a little warm water.

Toss shrimps with ¼ cup dressing and marinate for 30 minutes.

Tear romaine leaves, removing the thickest part of the stem. Toss with remaining dressing.

Preheat broiler or grill pan to medium high heat. Drain shrimp and broil or grill for about 1½ minutes a side or until shrimp are pink and slightly curled.

Divide salad among 4 plates and top each salad with 3 shrimp. Garnish with parsley. Serves 4.

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This is a terrific way to cook winter greens. We used dandelion, but Swiss chard, turnip greens, collards and escarole will all work.


1 cup pecans

1 egg white

1 tablespoon sugar


1 tablespoon olive oil

5 strips bacon, diced

1 cup chopped onions

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

2 bunches dandelion greens, stems removed

3 tablespoons wine vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Toss pecans with egg white and sugar. Lay on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until pecans are dry and crisped.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes or until crisp.

Remove bacon and reserve. Add onions and garlic and sauté until softened.

Drain all but 1 tablespoon of fat and add greens. Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes or until just wilted.

Add vinegar and mix together. Place on a platter and scatter with bacon and pecans. Serve warm. Serves 4.

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I like the contrasts of crispy, fresh and tangy in this salad. Cape gooseberries or physalis are little orange fruit covered in a straw-coloured papery husk, which you discard. They are tangy and terrific in salads. Sambal Oelek is an Asian chili sauce and panko is crispy Japanese fried bread crumbs. You can find them both in the Asian section of the grocery store or at Asian food shops.


12 large shrimp, peeled

Salt, freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup flour

1 egg, beaten

1/2 teaspoon sambal oelek

1/2 cup panko

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 bunches watercress, thick stems removed

1 cup snow pea sprouts,

1 cup sliced red onion

12 cape gooseberries, cut in half

Lime dressing:

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoons fish sauce

1/2 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons finely chopped Thai basil or mint


Preheat oven to 450 F.

Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Dust with flour. Beat egg with sambal oelek. Dip shrimp in egg and roll in panko. Place on greased baking sheet.

Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, turning halfway through, until shrimp are pink and just cooked through.

Combine watercress, snow pea sprouts, red onion and cape gooseberries in a bowl. Mix together lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, oil and basil.

Toss salad with half of dressing. Top with shrimp and drizzle remaining dressing overtop. Serves 4.

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I had this salad in a Portland, Ore., restaurant and it was sensational. I usually make the whole loaf into croutons, as they keep well. Tear the bread for a more attractive look.


½ cup olive oil

2 teaspoons chopped garlic

4 cups bread torn or cut into about 1-inch chunks

Salt to taste


2 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

¼ cup chopped shallots

Salt and freshly ground pepper


8 slices bacon cut into 1-inch pieces

1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar

1 head escarole

4 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Combine oil and garlic in a mini-chop or by hand. Toss bread pieces with half the mixture, reserve remaining garlic oil for dressing. Scatter onto a cookie sheet, season with salt and bake, tossing occasionally, for 15 minutes or until golden.

Combine reserved garlic oil with 2 tablespoons olive oil. In a separate bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard and shallots and slowly whisk in oil. Season well with salt and pepper.

Place bacon in a cold skillet, turn heat to medium and cook 4 to 5 minutes or until bacon is crispy. Remove and drain on paper towels.

Bring a pot of water to boil and add white-wine vinegar. Reduce heat to low, quickly break all 4 eggs into simmering water and poach for 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove eggs to cold water to sit until needed.

Wash escarole and tear into pieces. Divide escarole between 4 salad bowls and toss with a little dressing. Top with bacon, some croutons and a poached egg. Drizzle more dressing over salad. Serves 4.

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A simple, elegant accompaniment for any meal.


2 bunches arugula

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper


Place arugula in a bowl. Just before serving, drizzle with vinegar and oil, season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Serves 6.

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Any leftover fragrant Watercress Dressing can be used with a green salad, or mix with a couple tablespoons of deli-style cream cheese to make a dip.


1 teaspoon salt

16 spears thick green asparagus, tough ends removed, stems peeled

1 teaspoon sugar

8 spears white asparagus, tough ends removed, stems peeled

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Watercress Dressing:

¼ cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 cup watercress leaves

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon orange juice

½ teaspoon grated orange rind

¼ cup olive oil

2 tablespoons chives cut in 2-inch pieces

Curls of Asiago cheese


Bring a skillet of salted water to boil. Add green asparagus spears and cook for 2 minutes or until crisp tender. Remove using tongs and immediately run under cold water until cold. Pat dry. Reserve.

Add sugar to asparagus cooking water and add white asparagus. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until crisp tender. Run under cold water and pat dry. Add to green asparagus and lightly season with salt and pepper.

Combine mayonnaise, mustard, watercress leaves, lemon juice, orange juice and orange rind in a food processor. Process until chunky then slowly pour olive oil down through feeder tube. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Place 4 green and 2 white asparagus on each of 4 plates. Drizzle over dressing, sprinkle with chives and top with curls of Asiago. Serves 4

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Akiwenzie's Fish & More (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) is a small First Nations family business based in Wiarton, Ont., where they catch their own lake fish in Georgian Bay, smoke it that night and bring it directly to the market. It is moist and delicious. Paired with spicy greens from the Quinte Organic collective and radishes from Matchbox Organics, this a sensational salad.



¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon lemon juice

¼ teaspoon honey

¼ cup olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper


8 cups spicy lettuce mix

4 radishes thinly sliced

2 slivered green onions

10 ounces (300 grams) smoked lake trout, flaked


Whisk together mustard, lemon juice and honey then whisk in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Toss together the lettuce, radishes and green onions. Place on individual serving plates, Drizzle with dressing. Garnish with trout.

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This simple tomato salad looks as beautiful as it tastes. I recommend using a firm, not soft, goat cheese. We used the French log called Rondon du Poitou, but any kind will do. Note that the vinaigrette is also made with tomatoes.



½ cup cherry tomatoes, seeded

½ teaspoon ground coriander seed

¼ cup olive oil

2 teaspoons chopped basil

1 teaspoon sherry vinegar

Salt and freshly ground pepper


4 medium heirloom or other tomatoes

8 ounces aged goat cheese

Salt and freshly ground pepper

12 basil leaves


Combine vinaigrette ingredients and purée in food processor or blender until smooth. Reserve.

Use a serrated knife to slice tomatoes as thinly as possible. Cut goat cheese into 8 slices and place one slice on each of 4 plates.

Drizzle some vinaigrette over the goat cheese. Top each slice of cheese with a few slices of tomato and drizzle with a little vinaigrette. Place a second slice of goat cheese and a few more slices of tomato on top. Drizzle with more vinaigrette. Arrange basil leaves around the salad, and decorate plate with any leftover vinaigrette. Serves 4.

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Nk'Mip (pronounced in-ka-meep) winery near the U.S. border is the first aboriginal winery in Canada. Owned and operated by the Osoyoos band and partnered with Vincor, Nk'Mip produces excellent wine in a stunning space. The tasting area is adorned with native artifacts and opens out to a patio restaurant that also serves lunch. The menu is largely native-inspired. If you spend an afternoon there, you can also take in the museum and walk the trails through the wild sage desert.

In this recipe, adapted from Chef Patric Leduc, the sweetness of the salad mellows out the smoky, spicy flavour of the barbecue sauce. Enjoy it with nice glass of Nk'Mip pinot blanc.



1 cup kosher salt

1/2 cup sugar

1 bay leaf

12 peppercorns

2 teaspoons chili flakes

4 cups water

4 boneless pork loin chops

Chipotle sauce:

2 tablespoons chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

1/4 cup honey

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

Caramelized red onion:

2 red onions, sliced 1/4-inch thick

1 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 cup sugar

Salt and freshly ground pepper


4 slices diced cooked bacon

2 tablespoons honey

4 cups spinach leaves

1 tablespoon olive oil


Bring brine ingredients to boil in pot, stirring to dissolve salt and sugar. Cool and pour over pork chops to cover. Refrigerate overnight.

Preheat grill to high. Purée chipotle peppers with honey, olive oil and rosemary in food processor until they make a smooth sauce. Set aside.

Place onion in small saucepan with vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to boil and simmer until onion is soft and caramelized. Remove chops from brine and brush with chipotle barbecue sauce.

Turn grill to low and grill 5 to 6 minutes per side.

For the salad, combine bacon, honey and caramelized onion in a skillet and warm over medium-low heat until honey is melted. Toss spinach with olive oil. Mix in bacon-onion mixture. Place on 4 plates and top each with a pork chop.

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